2020 Snapshot: Faith Mudge

Faith Mudge is an Australian writer of speculative fiction. Her short fiction has been shortlisted for Ditmar and Aurealis Awards and her story “January Days” was runner-up for the Queensland Young Writers Award in 2015. She blogs about all things fairy tale, folklore and mythology at beyondthedreamline.wordpress.com, where she’s currently writing Year of the Quest, an exploration of Arthurian legends and a good excuse to shout about the ladies of Camelot. She also talks about books and poetry on her Patreon. She would rather be reading than doing really anything else.

1. Tell us about your recent publications/projects?

I don’t think 2020 has been a great year so far for everyone’s concentration, on the whole. Not for mine, certainly! But creating art has always been a way to make sense of strange times, so there’s that. I’m currently working on a queer retelling of the ballad ‘Tam Lin’ set in Queensland, and writing short fiction for my Patreon. My novella Humanity for Beginners was recently recommended as a comfort read on Smart Bitches, Trashy Books and a few readers approached me asking where to get hold of it, as the book had gone out of print. I’d been wondering what to do with it and that was a good impetus to decide! Humanity for Beginners is now available in chapters on my blog and as a full ebook for my Patreon subscribers. It was lovely to send it back into the world!

Back when I first started blogging in 2012, I was writing loving but slightly sarcastic recaps of fairy tales for the Fairy Tales Tuesday Project. Last year I got into a similar rhythm with the Year of the Witch, covering a new fairy tale about witches each week. I had so much fun with that, and it was a great way to do research as well! 2020 is my Year of the Quest. Each month I’ve been writing about a different Arthurian legend, from the famous to the obscure. It’s allowed me to explore some real gems, including one where Arthur rescues a werewolf and helps transform him back into a knight. Yep, that’s a real thing!

2. What has been the best publishing experience of your career so far?

It would be pretty hard to beat the experience of getting my first story published with FableCroft! Having ‘Oracle’s Tower’ appear in print with a story by Catherynne M. Valente and the magical illustrations of Kathleen Jennings was just a dream come true. I’ve learned so much from all the editors I’ve worked with, I can’t say enough good things about small presses. Publishing Humanity for Beginners with Less Than Three Press was another new and wonderful experience, that being my first novella, and I am still so in love with the front cover created by Kirby Crow. 

3. Which recent Australian/NZ work would you recommend to international fans interested in expanding their Antipodean spec fic knowledge?

Tansy Rayner Roberts has an amazing back catalogue of speculative fiction, ranging from superhero stories such as ‘Girl Genius’ and ‘Kid Dark vs the Machine’ to the dark, decadent Creature Court trilogy, but her recent Belladonna U stories are some of my favourites of her work. It’s such a delightful and very Australian take on the magic school trope! The first Belladonna U collection, Unreal Alchemy, was published earlier this year and the second collection, Holiday Brew, will be out in September. Audio versions of most of these stories are available on Tansy’s podcast Sheep Might Fly, so they’re really accessible as well. I’m also very much looking forward to Kathleen Jennings’ fairy tale infused novel Flyaway, due for release next month, and Freya Marske’s historical fantasy A Marvellous Light, which is coming out next year.

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